Clinton praises Sudan for south polls, urges aid
ABU DHABI — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised on Monday the Sudanese government for allowing the secession referendum in the south, and called on Arab states to aid both sides.
"I give credit to the government in Khartoum for having agreed in 2005 to let the people of the south to vote on their own future," Clinton told university students in Abu Dhabi in a programme to be broadcast on the Arab television channel, MBC.
The independence referendum is the centrepiece of the 2005 north-south peace deal that ended a devastating 22-year civil war in which some two million people were killed and another four million fled their homes.
"This could be a great example of a peaceful outcome to a longstanding conflict," she said.
She said that both north and south Sudan will need a lot of support.
"If, as is expected, southern Sudan votes to have its own country, then I hope we will all in this broader region, and certainly the United States, will help," she said.
She said that the "very poor" south needs investments in infrastructure, schools and hospitals, while the north also needs investments.
"I think we also have to work with, and invest in, the north in Sudan so that they see the benefits of having done a very courageous action," she said.
"So let's work to help both the government in Khartoum and the government in Juba deliver results for their people," she added.
South Sudanese people continued Monday pouring into polling stations to vote on the second day of the one-week landmark independence referendum bringing the region a step closer to becoming the world's newest state.